Rep. Rick Larsen visits with EdCC MESA students

May 26, 2016 Issues: Education

Edmonds Beacon: Rep. Rick Larsen visits with EdCC MESA students

Washington state Rep. Rick Larsen met with Edmonds Community College MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) students on May 6 on the college's campus.

Students shared stories about how the MESA and RISE (Relations in Science Education) programs have created motivation and inspiration in their educational journey at EdCC.

Others told Larsen that their morale and confidence has increased as a result of participating in the programs.

“I’m glad programs like MESA and RISE exist,” Larsen said. “We’re always trying to keep these programs funded on a federal level.

“It is helpful to me in visiting schools to see how these programs are achieving results with students.”

Both MESA and RISE are funded through National Science Foundation grants. Out of the 34 community and technical colleges in the state, EdCC is one of six that offers MESA.

EdCC’s MESA Center provides academic resources for low-income, educationally disadvantaged students studying science and seeking to transfer to bachelor’s degree programs. The center aims to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities studying science.

RISE is a scholars program for students to apply for funds for direct support in STEM degree completion.

It also provides a community of peers, faculty and tutors; field trips; speakers; workshops, advising and mentoring by STEM faculty; and the use of the STEM Open Study room.

Larsen also toured the college’s STEM Open Study room. Free for use for all STEM students, the study room features group study space with whiteboard tables and wall-mounted screens, faculty office hours and advising in STEM programs and free snacks.

 “I think that in general, we need to be more purposeful in encouraging involvement in STEM education,” Larsen said. “Community colleges are doing a lot of great things and we need to invest in them.”